The health of your gums plays an important role in your overall dental health, as well as your physical well being. Healthy gums will support healthy, stable teeth and serve as a protective barrier against harmful bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and lead to inflammation and disease.
Dr. Lee and the staff of our Memphis dentist office emphasize the importance of your periodontal health and perform a thorough screening during all routine dental exams. We look for the signs of gum disease with the goal of catching it early to avoid the development of complex problems down the road. It is important to note that gum disease remains a leading cause of tooth loss today.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are two key stages of gum disease, each of which can have a progression of symptoms. Typically, patients do not realize they have gum disease until the later stages, when damage to the gums affects the teeth or gums become significantly irritated.
Gingivitis: early stage gum disease, gingivitis is typically easy to treat but may require additional at home care to prevent it from returning. Patients with recurring gingivitis may benefit from more frequent dental cleanings in our dentist office.
Periodontitis: advanced gum disease, periodontitis can cause permanent damage to gum tissue and weaken the teeth. This often requires intensive treatment to address damage and restore oral health.
Recent scientific studies have consistently shown the relationship between periodontal disease and an increased risk for developing or being more severely affected by cardiovascular and systemic diseases. When caught early, conservative treatment can be effective and quickly restore your oral health.
Treatment for Gum Disease: Periodontal Therapy
After an evaluation of your oral health, Dr. Lee will recommend appropriate and necessary treatment for restoring healthy gums. As disease progresses, it deepens the pockets between the teeth and the gums, pulling the gum tissue away from the teeth and exposing sensitive root structure. This can lead to pain, sensitivity and even loose teeth.
For gingivitis, an intense cleaning process to remove plaque and tartar along the gum line is typically recommended. Scaling and root planing is often sufficient to remove early infection and enable healing to occur. More advanced disease may need more invasive treatment to restore healthy gums.